The coronavirus outbreak has stimulated several issues related to mental health in the country.
India: Social isolation, fear of losing jobs, the ongoing economic crisis and an uncertain future has impacted the mental health of many across the country. With schools and colleges shut, exams cancelled, things look hazy for students from all walks of streams.
Vedanta Bagchi, a student stated that the lockdown in his case has resulted in claustrophobia, which has reinforced his anxiety issues all over again. “Since I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder),I really haven’t been able to do the things that I normally do to cope with it, for example going out for a walk or just hanging out with my friends whenever I felt too anxious,” he said.
Some also feel that the monotonous routine is affecting their mood to great extents and the restricted space is causing panic attacks.
“I am diagnosed with clinical depression and not being able to step out of the house has been affecting me. My parents being around all the time and taking decisions on my behalf is irritating me beyond comparison,” says Sayantan Bishnu, an English honors student from Jadavpur University.
To help people take care of their mental health, the government has launched helpline numbers that connect people to professionals and help comfort them. NIMHANS Bangalore has launched the toll-free number 08046110007.
As per reports, the helpline number has already received more than 2000 calls which are answered by both doctors and non-doctors who are trained in providing counseling.
A recent review by the Lancet says that the effects of the lockdown include post-traumatic stress symptoms; confusion, infection fears, frustration, boredom, and anger and it predicts that it can be long-lasting.
Psychiatrists have observed a surge in people looking for professional help in the past few days. They have also noticed a rise in the number of relapse cases.
Mohit Ranadeep, a psychiatric counselor in West Bengal says, “In addition to the fear, people who are prone to anxiety tend to over think extreme situations which add on to their stress. In a crisis like this, they assume the worse outcome and do not think beyond that”.
Prolonged exposure to news related to coronavirus can also create a negative impact on their minds, according to Dr. Ranadeep. He says, “Besides giving formal sessions to patients, I also talk to a lot of people over the phone as an informal session to extend my support.”
“I can’t see my psychologist as one can’t visit the city. I found a therapist in my area. But I don’t want to go to someone I don’t have a connection with”, added Vedanta.
The previously decided lockdown of 21 days has been further extended to May 3, 2020.
FEATURE IMAGE CREDITS- istockimages